9th Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference postponed until 2022Thursday, May 13, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade says the 9th Biennial Jamaica (virtual) Diaspora Conference, which was scheduled for June 16-18, 2021, has been postponed until 2022 due to COVID-19.
“We are pleased to note that the 2022 staging of the conference will coincide with what is expected to be a memorable Jamaica Diamond Jubilee, 60th Anniversary of Independence — projected to be the country’s first post — COVID Independence celebrations,” the ministry said in a statement today.
It noted that for this year’s alternate Diaspora engagement, the ministry in partnership with the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Office of the Prime Minister, Legacy Partners, the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC), the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council (GJDYC) and other local and overseas stakeholders, will stage the Virtual Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium, June 16-17, under the theme “Jamaica and the Diaspora — Stronger Together for a Sustainable Future”.
Senator Leslie Campbell, state minister in the ministry, one of whose main portfolio responsibilities is that of Diaspora Affairs, explained that “Given the protracted nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, along with its concomitant health and fiscal challenges, it cannot be business as usual. As such, the symposium is being considered as an effective pivot to maintain the connection with the Diaspora, with a view to strengthening existing partnerships.”
According to the ministry, the symposium will feature panel discussions on Health and Wellness, Education, and Diaspora Partnerships for Sustainable Development, hosted by the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC). It said it will be followed by the highly prestigious Governor-General’s Awards for Excellence, focusing this year on “Heroes of the Pandemic”. The day’s activities will conclude with the Prime Ministerial Town Hall, the ministry said.
It added that a youth forum, hosted by the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council (GJDYC), will be the sole activity on day two to June 17.
Campbell also observed that, “The Jamaica Diaspora Sustainability Symposium is another vehicle through which the Government of Jamaica can interact with and engage the Jamaican Diaspora on important national issues, as well as on matters of importance to the Diaspora wherever they reside — an essential tenet of the National Diaspora Policy.”
The first Jamaica Diaspora Conference was held in 2004 and has been the principal means by which the government engages with its Diaspora, in both the traditional and non-conventional jurisdictions.
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